During our lives, we go through a tremendous amount of experiences that ultimately decide whether or not we are living well. Everything we do, from taking the dog for a walk to going to work, ordering takeout, and booking a vacation, is because we pursue a feeling. We want to feel good, useful, happy, strong, charming, secure, safe, and a multitude of other feelings that we experience daily at any given moment.
As we pursue all the positive emotions, many negative ones slip through the cracks and will continue to do so. Throughout our lives, we will feel disappointed, sad, angry, betrayed, weak, and not good enough, to mention just a few of the variety of emotions that run wild in our minds and bodies.
Dealing with these unwanted guests, I keep trying to understand and learn to cope with these villains without diverting me away from pursuing and enjoying happy thoughts. One way that proved to be very helpful is to detach myself from what I feel and look at it from a different perspective.
The way I achieve that is by fast-forwarding in my mind to when I am in my nineties and looking back, not at my life’s external aspects, like how much money I made, what cars I drove, where I lived, or what I did, but solely at what I felt.
With an eye on my late forties, I am asking myself now, how do I let my feelings dictate the life I have? We all make choices every day, and despite ensuring that I make good choices, some outcomes aren’t necessarily favorable. Therefore, negative emotions will come through when my plans don’t always materialize.
However, since we all make good choices, or at least that is our intention, why should we feel bad when things don’t go our way? Why do we still feel these negative emotions when our intentions were good?
I am not sure these answers will matter when I am in my nineties. What matters most right now is navigating through my life and dealing not only with my failed plans but also with my negative emotions in the most efficient manner.
Therefore, our life is not only the sum of our actions, as we act in good faith, but also the sum of our emotions. We mostly remember what and how we feel, not just what we do. What we do dictates how we feel, but since we can’t control the future, can we at least learn how to deal with our negative emotions better?
Remember the last time you felt disappointed, betrayed, or sad. Don’t try to justify or remember how you got to those feelings or who is responsible for making you feel that way. Just remember the feeling alone. You and your feelings.
Now, imagine yourself being in your nineties, looking back at your life, along with all your feelings. Do you think it will matter to you who made you feel that way? I don’t think so. Do you think you will be happy with how you felt throughout your life just because you had a good reason at the time to feel that way?
I don’t think so either. Do you think you will look back at your life and all your negative emotions, negative self-talk, and all the negative things you thought and said about yourself and say, “I had a really good reason to feel that way”? I don’t think so. I believe you will look back and realize that all the time you spent worrying about what others think or do was wasted time. I strongly believe you will look back at your life and wish you had been wiser with your feelings.
So, I am asking you right now, let it go. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t hold on to it. Feel it and let it go. We will be feeling these negative emotions every single day. That is a fact. You can’t escape them. However, as you go through your life and feel whatever you feel, don’t try to justify holding on to something that won’t matter when you are in your nineties. Keep an eye on how you feel while you transport yourself to the end of your life. What really matters right now?
Our feelings dictate our lives. Hold on longer to what makes you feel good and let go sooner of what doesn’t. We have one life. Take a mental trip to your nineties and see what you’re doing wrong and how you can do it better. Do it now, and don’t wait until there’s nothing you can do anymore. Don’t wait until it is too late.
Have a relaxing and fulfilling rest of your life.